Stressful events and circumstances reported by patients prior to being prescribed antidepressants
Hartdegen, Morgyn, Gibson, Kerry, Cartwright, Claire and Read, J. 2017. Stressful events and circumstances reported by patients prior to being prescribed antidepressants. New Zealand Medical Journal. 130 (1448), pp. 45-53.
|Authors||Hartdegen, Morgyn, Gibson, Kerry, Cartwright, Claire and Read, J.|
This large online survey found that over two thirds of New Zealanders who had been prescribed antidepressants reported that they were dealing with at least one and often more than one stressful circumstance in their lives. The most commonly reported stressful circumstances were relationship difficulties, life transitions, losses, work related difficulties as well as stress related to their own or other people’s health difficulties. As most antidepressants are prescribed primary care level, it is important for GPs to be aware of the significance of these psychosocial stressors in their patients’ lives and recommend treatments that address these directly.
This study investigates the extent to which those who receive a prescription for antidepressants perceive psychosocial stressors to be significant in their difficulties.
This study draws on a survey of adults prescribed antidepressants. It analyses 1,683 responses to an open-ended question that enquired about difficult events and circumstances participants experienced in the time leading up to receiving an antidepressant prescription.
Sixty-five percent of respondents described experiencing one or more stressful events or circumstances, with 19 % reporting two and 20% reporting three or more. The most frequently reported stressors identified by participants were categorised as: relationship difficulties (19%), life transitions (19%), losses (18%), work related difficulties (15%) and participants’ own or others’ health issues (15%). Other less frequently reported stressors included isolation, academic difficulties, abuse and violence and financial difficulties.
Findings are that stressful life events or circumstances are significant for a large number of who are given a prescription for antidepressants. It is important for GPs to be aware of significance of these psychosocial stressors in their patients’ lives and make treatment recommendations that address these difficulties. Conclusions need to be interpreted in the light of limitations arising from the sampling method.
|Journal||New Zealand Medical Journal|
|Journal citation||130 (1448), pp. 45-53|
|Publisher||New Zealand Medical Association|
|Web address (URL)||https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2017/vol-130-no-1448-13-january-2017/7124|
|Online||13 Jan 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||22 Feb 2018|
|Copyright information||© 2017 NZMA|
|License||All rights reserved|
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